Manager Keith Hill has spoken of the pride associated with Daniel Adshead’s call-up to the England under-18 squad.
The 17-year-old is part of a 20-man squad that boasts players from the likes of Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
They'll face the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and Belgium at a four nations tournament in Murcia this month.
“It’s a bit of kudos for the football club,” said Hill.
“Outside of the Premier League Elite Academies, it’s very difficult to get any recognition.
“Without being disrespectful to League One, League Two or Rochdale, the more games you play as a young player in those respective leagues, the further away you, at times, can become from the Premier League, but not in this case.
“It’s a great call-up for him. It’s one that I have been championing for a while because we know what he’s all about.
“It will be a great experience for him and he’ll take knowledge from it. He’ll see what standards he has to achieve within his age group for his national side and he’ll have no fear. He’ll know that he can achieve his dreams. He’s ambitious, he’s always asking questions – he’s never afraid to express himself in a footballing environment and never tries to shy away from the responsibility.”
Adshead has progressed through the club’s ranks, after joining the Rochdale Academy when he was just eight-years-old. He started training with the first-team during school holidays at the tender age of 14, before becoming Dale’s youngest ever debutant at just 16 years and 17 days, and has made a total of 14 first-team appearance so far.
Hill believes the young midfielder will go on to play in the Premier League.
“Dan Adshead is a talented football player, but not only that, his personality is perfect for the Premier League. He and his family are not interested in the lifestyle – he wants medals and he wants wins. He wants to be the best he can possibly be. It’s easy when you’re working with someone like Dan. He’s a like a sponge – he wants to develop and he wants to learn.
“He quite easily could have taken the easy option and gone, over the last two or years, to a Premier League Academy but he has chosen to stick with us. I’m glad that we’ve rewarded his trust.
“It’s only the start for Dan and he will make an impact at this football club. I also believe that he can definitely play in the Premier League.”
Adshead has become the first Dale player since 2002 to receive an England call-up, but Hill reckons another Academy product might not be too far behind.
“There will be more - Luke Matheson will get called up.
“On Wednesday when we played against Leicester [in the Checkatrade Trophy], at no point was I considering taking Luke off, and that in itself is credit to Luke and what he has done at this football club. He has only just turned 16 but we don’t give him that credit when he’s playing. We expect him to act like Joe Rafferty, for example. There’s no pressure on Luke, but he will be the next one – he will get called up for England.”